Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Donald L. Kunz, PhD.


Delivering communications from high altitudes, at airspeeds of just 30 knots, gathering data from active volcanoes and forming hurricanes, and collecting ISR over hostile territories, UAVs are at the ready to perform those missions that are too dull, dirty, or dangerous for manned aircraft. However, the proliferation of this new technology has its fair share of challenges. Over 460 DoD UAV mishaps have occurred since 2001, with almost half resulting in damages of $2M or more. One incident almost ended in fatalities, when a UAV, suffering from loss of control, collided with a C-130. That loss of control is what this undertaking aims to address toward establishing design criteria for UAV stability and control characteristics, or flying qualities. The JSBSim flight simulation software was used to investigate the correlation between the flying qualities of an F-16, and its workload and performance, while executing a set of precision-aggressive tasks under autopilot command. The results suggest techniques and metrics that can be used to specify design requirements for UAVs. This research effort is intended to serve as a precursor for real-world flight testing using the NF-16D VISTA.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number